Ohio Unemployment Benefit Questions
When should I file an application for benefits?
You should file your application for unemployment benefits as soon as you become unemployed. Your claim will begin the Sunday of the calendar week in which your application is filed. Waiting more than a week to apply will delay the start of your claim, and no benefits will be paid for weeks of unemployment that pass before the week you file. Even if you need to serve the required waiting week or you are receiving separation pay from your employer, do not wait to file your application for unemployment benefits.
How do I claim a dependent child?
A child, stepchild, or adopted child is allowed as a dependent if both of the following two conditions are met.
- The child is under 18 at the beginning date of the benefit year, or if the child is 18 or older and unable to work because of a permanent mental or physical disability.
- You have paid more than half the cost of the child’s support for the 90-day period before the beginning date of your benefit year (or for the length of the parental relationship, if less than 90 days).
Claiming children as dependents will not be allowed if your spouse has filed for unemployment within the past year and has received an increased weekly amount because he or she claimed the same dependents.
How do I file my weekly unemployment claim in Ohio?
In most cases, you will file a weekly claim online. You will use your Social Security number and a pin (that is mailed to you) to log on, where you will answer a few questions such as whether or not you worked and whether or not you searched for work. Although you can apply for Ohio unemployment over the phone, when you file a weekly claim it is best to use the online portal. If you don’t own a computer, you can use a public one at the library, visit an OhioMeansJobs center, or call the Ohio unemployment phone number for further assistance.
What disqualifies you from unemployment in Ohio?
These requirements include:
- Being totally or partially unemployed
- Being unemployed through no fault of your own – which excludes most types of quitting, gross negligence, or willful misconduct
- You performed enough work since last collecting unemployment, if applicable
- You worked enough weeks and earned enough money during your base period to qualify for benefits
In the state of Ohio, this means you must have worked at least 20 weeks during your base period, and have earned an average weekly wage of at least $315. Note that your base period is the first four calendar quarters out of the last five complete calendar quarters prior to your unemployment claim. If you cannot meet all of these requirements, you may not be eligible to collect unemployment insurance.
In a related vein, while you are collecting benefits, you are responsible for filing your weekly claim. Filing your claim late may result in delayed or lost benefits. Moreover, you must engage in an honest work search. You must perform at least 2 job search activities per week. After 8 weeks of collecting benefits, you must have a resume uploaded on the OhioMeansJobs website. After 20 weeks, you are required to log in to OhioMeansJobs.com and create a Career Profile.
How to speak to a live person at Ohio unemployment?
You may need help applying for unemployment. Perhaps you have a question regarding the benefits portal. Or perhaps you’d like to understand how the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services arrived at their calculation of your weekly benefit amount.
Whatever the case may be, you can call the Ohio unemployment phone number between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. You can also visit an Ohio unemployment office location nearest you for a variety of job-related services and assistance.
How to report unemployment fraud in Ohio?
Unemployment fraud occurs when an employee or employer intentionally provides false information. A common example is misrepresenting particular details about yourself to qualify for benefits or collect a higher weekly benefit amount. Examples of this type of fraud include lying about why you were terminated from your previous job, or intentionally misrepresenting your wages earned during the base period. An employer can commit fraud by falsely claiming a worker was a contractor to avoid paying UI benefits.
Identity theft is another form of unemployment fraud. Using somebody else’s personal information to collect benefits is quite illegal and unfortunately all too common. It is important to take immediate action if you feel that someone is using your personal information to collect benefits. One indicator of identity theft is if you receive a monetary determination in the mail, or an unexpected unemployment debit card in the mail when you did not file a claim. Contact the Ohio unemployment fraud department to report any suspicious activity.
How long can I collect unemployment in Ohio?
The number of weeks you can collect Ohio unemployment depends on how many weeks you worked during your base period. There is a week-to-week correlation between the two. Remember that you must have worked at least 20 weeks to even qualify for unemployment, but even if you worked every week, you can still only collect up to 26 weeks. For example, if you worked 20 weeks during your base period, you can collect UI benefits for 20 weeks. If you worked 24 weeks, you can collect UI benefits for 24 weeks. And if you worked 26 weeks or more during your base period, you can collect Ohio UI benefits for 26 weeks.
Are Ohio unemployment benefits extended?
There are no extended unemployment benefits in Ohio except during certain circumstances such as a natural disaster, pandemic, or significant recession. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were special types of unemployment benefits extensions and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provided an additional $600 per claim each week on top of the weekly benefit amount.
What is an overpayment and what should I do if I’m notified?
If you receive an unemployment overpayment and it was made through no fault of your own, the unemployment department might waive the right to collect it back, though this is unlikely.
You are responsible for paying back the overpayment. Send a check payable to “Ohio Department of Job and Family Services” and mail the payment to:
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
P.O. Box 182059
Columbus, OH 43218
Important: You must include your Social Security number with your payment.
May an applicant file a claim outside of Ohio?
If your base period employment was in Ohio, but you live in and are seeking work in a state other than Ohio, your unemployment claim will be an “Ohio interstate claim.”
If you have worked in more than one state during your base period, you may qualify for unemployment by combining wages from those states. To establish a “combined wage claim,” you must apply for benefits with one of the states where your base period wages were reported.
How long will it take to apply?
Whether you apply online or by telephone, the process will take about 20-25 minutes. If you are online and need to stop before you finish the application, you can log back in later – within 24 hours from the time you started – and continue where you left off. Your application is not considered “filed” until you receive a confirmation number.